John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, has unveiled plans to revolutionize Ghana’s cashew processing sector should he secure victory in the 2024 elections.
Emphasizing the significance of agricultural advancement, Mahama outlined a bold strategy to transform the current practice of exporting raw cashew nuts to India. He proposed establishing local processing facilities in Ghana, specifically in Wenchi, where harvested cashews would undergo processing and packaging before export, aiming to bolster the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
Speaking at a gathering in Wenchi, Mahama highlighted the disparity in profits, lamenting that despite Ghana’s efforts in cultivation and harvesting, India reaps substantial benefits from cashew processing. He vowed to incorporate this initiative into his 2024 manifesto, expressing determination to equip the Bono Region with modern machinery dedicated to efficient cashew processing.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of local support, Mahama called upon the residents of Wenchi to rally behind his candidacy in the forthcoming elections to realize this vision.
Recent reports reveal Ghana’s possession of 14 cashew processing plants, collectively capable of handling 65,000 metric tonnes of raw cashews annually. However, merely 10 of these facilities are operational, processing less than 10% of the total yearly cashew production. Challenges confronting the local processing industry include financial constraints impeding sustained operations and difficulties in procuring raw cashews from farmers, aggravated by inadequate transportation infrastructure.
Mahama’s proposal seeks to address these impediments, aiming to strengthen local processing capacities and ensure that Ghana retains a significant portion of the profits generated from its cashew industry.
The pledge to establish a cashew processing plant in Wenchi under Mahama’s potential leadership reflects a concerted effort towards economic growth and local industry development in Ghana’s agricultural sector.